Seventy-Hour Work Week? ‘No Thanks,’ Say Young Workers
At a time when autoworkers in America are pushing for four-day, 32-hour workweeks, Infosys founder Narayana Murthy caused quite a stir when he said recently that young Indians should work 70-hour weeks to help the country develop.
“India’s work productivity is one of the lowest in the world,” he said on a podcast. “Unless we improve our work productivity ... we will not be able to compete with those countries that have made tremendous progress.”
He added that his request is that “our youngsters must say, ‘This is my country. I’d like to work 70 hours a week.’”
Entrepreneurs are known to work around the clock as they get their businesses started, but employees without a significant stake in a company’s fortunes are usually reluctant to do so. It was hardly surprising that many social media users derided Murthy’s request.
“No time to socialize, no time to talk to family, no time to exercise, no time for recreation. Not to mention companies expect people to answer emails and calls after work hours also. Then wonder why young people are getting heart attacks?” Dr. Deepak Krishnamurthy, a Bengaluru-based cardiologist, wrote on X.
Others pointed out that productivity should not be measured in hours, but in actual output. Well-rested employees may be more productive than those who’ve been overworked.
Murthy did receive support from some CEOs and others. “It’s not our moment to work less and entertain ourselves,” Bhagish Aggarwal, founder of the ridesharing company Ola, said on X. “Rather it’s our moment to go all in and build in 1 generation what other countries have built over many generations.”
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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